Ferndale: kitchen reno leads to discovery of asbestos in home

Ferndale: kitchen reno leads to discovery of asbestos in home

A FERNDALE woman’s plan to renovate her kitchen will prove far costlier than once thought, after she discovered her vinyl tiles were asbestos.

Brenda Collins commenced a renovation in June, planning to gut her kitchen but when she noticed fraying vinyl she grew concerned it was asbestos.

Told by neighbours, who had removed the same tiles in their units, it was not, Ms Collins independently had a patch analysed, which determined it was asbestos.

“The kitchen hadn’t been touched since it was built in 1978 and I thought the tiles could be asbestos but I thought I would let it go,” she said.

“But then I began going on the internet and researching vinyl cushion back tiles and sites from all over the world kept confirming there was likely asbestos.”

For $28, Ms Collins tested a sample at a Canning Vale-based company, confirming that the tile were asbestos.

“To remove the tiles (contractors) will need a diamond cutter machine and to then get glue off the floor, then wash down my ceilings and walls,” Ms Collins said.

“The house will have to be in lock down; for two-and-a-half square metres it will cost me about $3000 to remove.”

Ms Collins said she was prepared to cover the cost, and said other options such as concreting over the asbestos would just hide the problem for someone else later.

“I want to warn people that doing renovations yourself on older homes can mean hidden asbestos,” Ms Collins said.

“I know many people who have lifted these kinds of tiles themselves, and it’s when they crumble that they are most dangerous.”

What might have asbestos

·       Asbestos cement products such as building materials (‘fibro’), fences, switchboards and roofing

·       Sprayed on insulation and acoustic applications

·       Buildings, ships and other structures

·       Vinyl asbestos tiles

·       Laboratory tabletops

·       Heater banks (air-conditioning ducts)

·       Roofing felts

·       Suspended ceiling tiles

·       Friction materials (brake pads, shoes, etc)

·       Industrial gaskets

·       Naturally occurring ores/soils

·       Fire doors and other fire resistant materials

To check if a material contains asbestos, you can have a sample tested by a NATA accredited laboratory. Fees and analysis times may vary between laboratories.